Heavenly Father,

I have rocked a lot of babies to sleep in my life—between my own, grandbabies, great grandbabies and who knows how many at work! I can usually rock almost any baby to sleep. I tell my co-workers that it’s either because I’m boring or calm. I’m not sure which. Some babies are naturally more laid back and easy to put to sleep. Others…well, it can be a real battle. Yet I almost always win!

The babies who fight against sleep need rest more than the others. The sleepier they are, the crankier they are. They squirm, cry, thrash around, hold their bodies rigid, arch their backs to get out of your arms…anything to stay awake. If their eyelids almost close from exhaustion, they immediately start moving to try to revive themselves. Yet, if I remain calm and think loving thoughts over them, sometimes quietly singing to them, and hold them gently yet firmly to calm them down, they sooner or later drift off to sleep. More than once, I’ve raised my hands in victory because I won the fight. It’s not so much that I am proud of winning—it’s that I know they need the rest. They (and everyone around) will be able to enjoy life so much better if they get a good rest!

Father, now that I have bragged on my ability to get babies to rest, I have to admit that I often thrash around when faced with an obstacle. I start fighting and frantically attempting to figure my way out. I squirm with worry or anxiety when what I really need to crawl up in Your lap and let You hold me until I can rest in Your care—until I can relax and trust You to handle whatever situation I am facing. I know You have to hold me really tight sometimes until I give up and surrender into Your sweet care. You know what I really need. Every time, I am finally still in Your arms, a sweet peace overwhelms me and I can rest in Your love and trust Your care for me.

Now, there are times when I stand up and try to lay those babies down in their cribs, they immediately start fighting again. Father, I’m so grateful that Your arms are big enough to keep holding me while You do everything else You do!  The best place to be is in Your arms!

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“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

 

“”He who dwells in the shadow of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1

 

“He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.”  Psalm 23:2-3

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Prayer Prompt-

Lord, hold me until I calm down and rest from…

Glorious Father,

Sometimes I need to get away from my little world to get a new glimpse of how powerful and mighty You are. I recently took a short trip with my husband to Colorado for a Fallen Firefighters’ Memorial Service. We went to honor my husband’s great uncle who died in 1925 when big gas barrels blew up as he had just finished fighting a fire. This had been a huge family story. They were to add his name to the national memorial by Pikes’ Peak. Then we were gathered with 217 other families whose loved ones were killed in the line of duty. Each of them had a story—most of whose grief was fresh from the last year. Over 7000 people were at the main service where 217 firefighters in dress uniform presented firefighter flags to each family. I saw more grief in one place than ever before, yet I knew You were already at work helping each person in very unique and personal ways.

Just before the ceremony began, I received a report that my 87 year old mom had fallen and broken another hip. She was in indescribable pain as she was transported by ambulance to the hospital. It was overwhelming to receive this news from three states away while I was sitting on the front row of such an intense ceremony. I struggled with whether I should immediately return or not. Since I couldn’t make it back for the surgery, others would be affected by my decision, and the knowledge that You and my other family members at home were with her—I finally decided to stay. Quite a few times, I had to fight against my emotions to place her in Your hands again.

We drove up into the Rocky Mountain National Park which goes way up into the mountains. I lost phone service for most of two days. Once again, I had to trust You when I not only couldn’t be with my mom (like I had always been before when there has been medical emergencies), but I couldn’t hear her voice or get a report. Yet when I gazed continually upon the massive mountains in all their glory, it was a reminder that You are so much larger than anything anyone can ever face. Then I looked up above me at the sky which was incredibly closer than in Oklahoma, I thought of how small these massive mountains appear from an airplane or even from space…and how You are the One who created all there is—including galaxies I cannot see. The more I praised You, the more I trusted You, and the more peace I had.

I got home to see my “perky-ready-to-face-the-rehab-in-front-of-her” mom and was showing her the photos we took of the overwhelming beauty and size of the mountains. They looked so tiny in the photos. It was almost disappointing. The photos were pretty but could never catch the glory we saw. Father, You are indescribable. We can try to share Your love and mercy given to us through Jesus Christ, but it’s only like a photo. Until the person we share with accepts and experiences You for themselves, they cannot fully fathom the indescribable glory of who You are. I suppose we will be discovering more and more of Your indescribable glory for all eternity! Let my tiny praises bring joy to an Indescribable You!

 

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“Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it.’  Isaiah 40:4-5

 

“‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor My covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”  Isaiah 54:10

 

“’I am the Alpha  and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was,  and who is to come, the Almighty.’” Revelation 1:8

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Prayer Prompt-

Lord God Almighty, I praise You because…

 

Heavenly Father,

Sometimes I look at my schedule that seems to fill up rather quickly; I am tempted to feel overwhelmed. How in the world can I possibly manage my time to accomplish what I think needs to be accomplished (or sometimes what other people think I need to get done)? Then I recall that it is You who makes all things work in their proper time. You give each and every one of us the same 24 hours in a day. You also give each one of us different gifts and talents to use in those 24 hours. You designed each of us in such unique ways that we will use those 24 hours completely different than anyone else. You also give us free choice in how to spend those 24 hours.

There are a few things I have learned about time management:

*Lord, You manage time much better than I do! That’s why I try to offer my time up to You first (before I spend it all on my foolish ways).

*The world was spinning before I was born, is now and will be after I leave it without my help. Time goes on with and without me. It doesn’t depend on me…but it does indeed depend on You!

*Time is so very short. We never know when our time on earth is up so help me live each day ready to go. Let my daily words and actions be eternally encouraging in case they are the last memory others have of me.

*Eternity will not be prisoner to time. We will live in Your presence unhampered by the silly need to cram as much as we can into a day.

Even now, as I come to You in prayer, time falls away in Your presence. All those things on my list and calendar no longer rule me. All that matters is You love me and I love You…and You want me to invest my day into loving others in Jesus’ name. As I make out my little list to manage my time, will You show me what I need to do today? Let me hold my schedule loosely so I am open to all the surprises You bring about today. Let me invest this 24 hours into loving You and those You place in my path. Love is the best investment. It transcends time. Your love is eternal. Love is the best way to manage my time.

 

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“Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until He comes and showers righteousness on you.”  Hosea 10:12

“Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm, and the wise heart will know what the proper time and procedure.”   Ecclesiastes 8:5

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  Matthew 6:9-10

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, show me how to manage my time today…

Gracious Heavenly Father,

A great deal of my life, I spent my time and energy on completing the latest project. Give me a job and I will get it done. Part of it must be in my DNA from my hard-working parents; part of it was daily training because there was always so much work in the three acres of greenhouse and nursery I grew up in. There is a nice feeling of satisfaction to see a project from vision, plans on paper and then all the way to completion. I lived long enough now to see a lot of those “projects” I invested in are no longer there: I had to move away from landscapes I created; fire destroyed home decorating; writing projects never got published; amazing programs created with great intentions are no longer active; jobs I enjoyed have fallen by the wayside…If that’s all I invested my life in, I would be wondering what true purpose my life had.

But… I discovered the things that last forever! I found my true purpose and joy in life in You, Lord! The joy of getting to know You better each day; the wonder of finding more reasons to love You; the truth that this whole life is from You, for You and about You; the new truths You reveal as I continually seek You every day; the mystery of how You can love me with all Your majestic power and might when I am so small and weak; the thought of how You know everything about me and yet You still love me enough to sacrifice Your Son Jesus so I can live for all eternity with You! You love me with an unimaginable love that makes me want to love you back. Loving, worshipping and serving You are what truly makes this life meaningful. Nothing (not even death) can take that away!

You didn’t stop with just loving me, and waiting for me to love You back—You surround me with people that You want me to love. They are not projects—but people! What a joy is found in loving all those You place in my life—for once-in-a-lifetime meetings and life-long relationships; those who are easy to love and those who make it hard; tiny newborn babies to teens finding their way to adults older than me; next-door neighbors and cross-continent-and-seas neighbors; believers and non-believers; those who agree with me and those who do not; from my wonderful family, friends, in-laws and outlaws. Lord, my life is rich with eternal meaning- from loving You and others. That’s not a project but my very purpose!

 

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(When asked what the greatest commandment was), “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:37-40

“Fear God and keep His commandments. For this is the whole duty of man.”  Ecclesiastes 12:13b

“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…” Philippians 2:1-5 (read verses 6-11 to see the attitude of Christ)

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Prayer Prompt-

Father, search me and see if I am living my purpose…